When the Dust Settles – Timing Read Online Mary Calmes

Categories Genre: M-M Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 66
Estimated words: 63469 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 317(@200wpm)___ 254(@250wpm)___ 212(@300wpm)

Glenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.

Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with Rand Holloway and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.

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It had been a regular Tuesday night until everything went to hell.

“There, boss, take a left.”

I took the turn as directed, and the five people in the pickup truck with me—two in the front, three in the back—yelled at the same time that it was the house on the right.

There were a lot of lights on, and clothes and stuffed animals were strewn all across the front lawn.


I got out and heard the passenger-side door open, along with movement in the back of the pickup.

“No,” I barked, whirling to stare into the interior, then took a step back so I could see the truck bed as well before I slammed my door shut.

Five pairs of eyes, all between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two, were pinned to me. A quarter of my staff at the restaurant had insisted they were going with me, cajoled, and finally flat-out refused to get out of my truck when I left to go pick up Josie Barnes. None of us should have left during the nightly dinner rush. But the remaining staff could handle it, even if it got stupid busy, and I appreciated them staying there and taking care of the place that had become home for all of us, not just me.

“Everybody stays in the truck,” I ordered from where I stood in the street. “I don’t want any of y’all gettin’ hurt.”

“But, boss, her dad and her brother are in there. We gotta go in with ya,” Andy Tribble, one of my busboys, pleaded. “You didn’t bring no backup.”

“Kevin’ll be here in a second,” I told them. “He’s right behind us. He’ll go in with me.”

“Yeah, but—” Shawnee Clark began to argue.

“No!” I yelled and then included them all with a wave of my hand. “Any of y’all that gets outta this truck is fired, ya hear?”

“But I was the one who answered the phone when she called,” Danny LaRue chimed in. “I should go in since I told her I was coming.”

I sent up a quick prayer for strength. “What were her exact words, Danny?”


“Time’s a wastin’.”

He coughed. “She said since you were still fishing, that—”

“Since I was still fishing,” I repeated. “Meaning that if I were there, I’d be the one she wanted, right?”



He huffed out a breath. “Yeah.”

“Well, then.”

When he looked at me, his face was scrunched up. “You shouldn’t go in alone.”

Everyone nodded in support of his statement.

I knew why. I did. They needed me. I was the boss. The Bronc was my place, our restaurant. I’d pulled it out of thin air into existence, and they’d all taken refuge there with me in one form or another. I was the glue. Without me, if anything happened to me, they would all be adrift, and while for a few that would be a brand-new experience—some were too young to have lived totally alone yet—for others it meant being without an anchor all over again. So I understood that the fear was first for me, second for them, real and tangible and in no way self-serving. None of them wanted me in danger.

“Just nobody fuckin’ move,” I growled, giving them my final words on the subject.

There was lots of nodding, and they all stayed put. I knew it wasn’t the threat that kept them in their seats, though, but the look on my face. I had on my serious one.

I was almost to the porch when the screen door banged open and Josie’s brother—she’d only ever called him Bubba—about twenty years old, came charging out with an electric guitar clutched in his fist. Since I knew from seeing it on more than one occasion as she went to play gigs after work or before that it wasn’t his, I surprised him and grabbed it out of his hand.

“What the hell,” he roared, reaching for it as I put two fingers on his collarbone to keep him still.